SHE HAS proven with her dance moves that she is capable of going down, but Saucy Wow’s failure to apologise for and/or condemn the perpetuation of homophobia is a disappointing low for her career and for soca music more generally. Here is an artiste who has shown no remorse for her actions, however they may be construed.
At the very least she has condoned hatred and the incitement of violence against the LGBTQI community. It matters not whether the “dubplate” in question was meant to be an exaggerated act of bravado on behalf of another or for quasi-private use at a sound clash. The fact is the music is now public; the hateful words were used; and at some stage, they were intended for consumption, whether by a few or many.
A recording artiste may easily be forgiven for a momentary misjudgment or for falling into a creative venture in which they did not retain complete control. But to shoot the messenger once the problem is flagged; to not take repeated opportunities to re-assess one’s position and apologise; to then express annoyance not at the original source of the misadventure but instead social media activists and journalists is to become complicit in a grave wrong.
The recording should never have been made. An apology should have been swiftly issued. Such an apology would have acknowledged times have changed dramatically since the days when Buju Banton sang homophobic lyrics. Instead, after all the progress that has been made in our society, including last April’s landmark High Court ruling, here is an artiste on the offensive who is unremorseful and antagonistic to persons who question her motives in taking on this most hateful gig.
We condemn the actions of Saucy Wow and the writer DJ Dro in the strongest possible terms. What is particularly distressing about this incident, however, is the irony that after creating music that calls for the murder of members of the LGBTQI community, who have been fighting for basic protections in our society for decades now, both artists have sought to re-victimise the entire community.
In his baffling reply in defence of Saucy Wow, DJ Dro sought to paint all critics as “dunce and duttyheart”. It was only a year ago there were fears over acts of violence – including murder – against members of the LGBTQI community. Last month marked the one-year anniversary since the death of transgender activist Sasha Fierce.
Artistes enjoy freedom. But that is qualified. During Carnival, all should be mindful of the messages sent by their music, whether through the use of metaphor, rhetoric or plain old picong. For so long, Saucy Wow has been our “wining specialist”, an expert at rolling it slow. On this issue, she should roll back.